Queens of the Stone Age filled The Republik from corner to corner with bodies and beats on Wednesday night, with a sold-out show of heavy rock that was powerful, if not surprising.
The band delivered as expected, with multiple delights, including a showy groove and a pummeling drummer.
Being in the room during a live show is an invigorating experience: The sheer energy emitted by the deep sound waves that permeate a QOTSA concert might even reorganize your mitochondria.
And frontman Josh Homme has a sexy everyman quality, reassuring onlookers that he cares whether you have a good time.
The strobe-like light show was just icing on the cake.
Despite the strobes, though, this show was not about throwing listeners off balance. It was about showing us a good time, making some noise and taking pleasure in the power of rock music, well done.
Queens of the Stone Age is a pro operation, through and through, and it kept the train rolling right on time, with nearly two solid hours of sinuous, showy rock.
In “Make It Wit Chu,” a song from 2007 album “Era Vulgaris,” which Homme and crew put out about two-thirds of the way through the show, he explains his approach quite clearly: “Sometimes the same is different/ But mostly it’s the same/ These mysteries of life/ That just ain’t my thing. …”
It’s an unlikely combo of slinky and stoic; but that’s what’s unique about Queens of the Stone Age. That tension between glam and nose-to-the-grindstone, dynamic and measured, typified the show.
The thing to do is appreciate QOTSA’s immersion in what works about rock ‘n’ roll — a mix of allusions to hip-shaking teenage lust, ’50s croon, Black Sabbath shock-rock and fatalistic sentiment, all performed to never-say-die rhythms.
Those elements provided many thrills and chills along the way. QOTSA has a dark sense of humor, as the set list reveals, including stalker ode “You Can’t Quit Me,” from the band’s 1998 self-titled debut album, and new song “The Way You Used to Do,” from last year’s album “Villians,” which (appropriately) preceded it.
“The Way You Used to Do,” incorporates much of what QOTSA embraces in its contemporary incarnation — Vegas swagger, overt funk and full-on embrace of enjoyment.
Like Homme said early on in the show, “Today is everything.” The band and the audience held on to that “today” feeling throughout the deafening show.
The band ended with a jagged, flash-bang workout in “A Song for the Dead,” from 2002 album “Songs for the Deaf.” With the speed-metal energy and thrasher joy of this song, co-written by grunge guitar hero Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), it was a satisfying end, and only left me wanting more.
For those who do want more, there may be tickets left for tonight’s encore show; visit bampproject.com/queensofthestoneage29 or purchase at the door.